Twila Paris

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Twila Paris
Born (1958-12-28) December 28, 1958 (age 55)
Origin Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Genres CCM
Instruments Voice, piano
Years active 1965, 1980–present
Labels Milk and Honey, Star Song, Benson, Sparrow, INO, Mountain Spring

Twila Paris Wright (born December 28, 1958) is a Contemporary Christian Music singer-songwriter, author, and pianist.


Musical career[edit]

Since 1980, Twila Paris has released 22 albums, amassed 33 number one Christian Radio singles, and was named the Gospel Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year three years in a row. Many of her earlier songs such as "He Is Exalted", "We Will Glorify", "Lamb of God", and "We Bow Down", are found in church hymnals or otherwise sung in church settings.

As a child she released her first album, Little Twila Paris, in 1965. The album included songs drawn from among those she sang with her family in their evangelistic outreaches.

Paris released her first full-length album, Knowin' You're Around, in 1980, and along the way she has written books, recorded children's music, and created worship songs. Her song "God Is In Control" won a GMA Song of the Year award in 1995 and her 1992 Sanctuary release won the GMA Praise & Worship Album of the Year. She has won five GMA Dove Awards and three American Songwriter Awards.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Paris released mainly contemporary Christian pop songs. But in recent years, she has focused on recording new versions of some of her worship standards and writing new praise and worship music. Her 2005 album He Is Exalted: Live Worship collects a number of favorite songs commonly used in praise and worship of Paris's and presents them in a more typical style of live worship music. After her song "He Is Exalted" was used in churches in Brazil, Paris re-recorded it in the Portuguese translation they were using. This version appears on her 1992 album Sanctuary.

Although associated for much of her career with Star Song Communications, EMI switched her to Sparrow Records in 1996, before her contract ended after 2003. In 2005, she switched to the praise and worship label Integrity Music for He Is Exalted: Live Worship.

Paris released Small Sacrifice on December 26, 2007, which was available only through her Web site and at Lifeway Christian Stores. This album married the two parts of her career by including both inspirational pop/adult contemporary songs and original praise and worship compositions. Her first radio single from Small Sacrifice was "Live to Praise". Small Sacrifice was released for wider distribution by Koch Records on February 24, 2009.

In 2012, Paris released a patriotic-themed project that includes two new cuts ("God of Our Fathers" and "America the Beautiful") and ten cuts that Paris hand-picked from other projects. The purpose of the project is to inspire patriots with themes of God's protection and love, even in difficult times.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Paris toured extensively. As a new artist, she opened for the Imperials. After receiving her first #1 hit, she began headlining her own concert tours, with such notable opening artists as Wayne Watson, Clay Crosse, Phil Keaggy, Avalon, Aaron Jeoffrey, Fernando Ortega, Out of the Grey and Michele Tumes. She was featured in the Young Messiah tour and co-hosted with Steven Curtis Chapman both the My Utmost for His Highest and Child of the Promise tours. In the 2000s, she continues to tour but not as extensively. For the past few years, Paris has joined Steve Green, Wayne Watson, Larnelle Harris and Michael Card for the Christian Classics Tour.

Musical influence[edit]

Paris has created a body of work in a modern hymn style. Her compositions are included in hymnals used by several Christian denominations[1] and various Charismatic churches.[2] Paris was influenced in her early career by the music of Keith Green, Kelly Willard, and Jamie Owens-Collins.[citation needed] Her single, "Do I Trust You" was written in response to Keith Green's untimely death in 1982.[citation needed] Willard and Owens-Collins sang background vocals for her on her Keeping My Eyes On You album and sang as a trio on the hymn "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" on The Warrior Is A Child.

Personal life[edit]

She is the daughter of Oren II and Rachel Inez Paris. Oren Paris II is the founder and Chancellor of Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas. Paris married her manager Jack Wright in 1985 and remains married to him, though he became afflicted with Epstein-Barr disease with chronic fatigue.[3] They have a son, Jack Paris Wright, who was born in 2001. She has three siblings — Starla Novak, Oren Paris III, and Angie Paris Snyder.


Original releases[edit]

  • Little Twila Paris (1965)
  • Knowin' You're Around (1980)
  • Keepin' My Eyes On You (1982)
  • The Warrior Is a Child (1984)
  • Kingdom Seekers (1985)
  • Same Girl (1987)
  • For Every Heart (1988)
  • It's the Thought (1989)
  • Cry For The Desert (1990)
  • Sanctuary (1991)
  • A Heart That Knows You (1992)
  • Beyond a Dream (1993)
  • The Time Is Now (1995)
  • Where I Stand (1996)
  • Perennial: Songs For The Seasons Of Life (1998)
  • True North (1999)
  • Bedtime Prayers, Lullabies and Peaceful Worship (2001) (children's album)
  • House of Worship (2003)
  • He Is Exalted: Live Worship (2005)
  • Looking Up (2006)
  • Small Sacrifice (2007)


  • The Early Years (1996) (selections from Kingdom Seekers and Same Girl)
  • Signature Songs (2000)
  • Greatest Hits: Time & Again (2001)
  • 8 Great Hits (2004)
  • Simply (2005)
  • Ultimate Collection (2006)
  • God Shed His Grace (2012) (with two new recordings)

Top Ten Singles in the 1980s and 1990s (Adult Contemporary Christian Charts)[edit]

  • No. 1 "The Warrior is a Child" (1984-11-02)
  • No. 2 "Do I Trust You" (1984-12-26)
  • No. 1 "Runner" (1986-04-01)
  • No. 2 "Lamb of God" (1986-06-25)
  • No. 10 "He is Exalted" (1986-10-20)
  • No. 1 "Prince of Peace" (1987-09-07)
  • No. 7 "Holy is the Lord" (1987-11-16)
  • No. 2 "Bonded Together" (1988-03-21)
  • No. 4 "Send Me" (1988-06-13)
  • No. 1 "Every Heart That is Breaking" (1988-10-31)
  • No. 1 "True Friend" (1989-02-06)
  • No. 3 "Never Ending Love" (1989-05-15)
  • No. 1 "Sweet Victory" (1989-09-04)
  • No. 1 "I See You Standing" (1990-09-17)
  • No. 6 "How Beautiful" (1991-01-07)
  • No. 7 "Cry For the Desert" (1991-03-18)
  • No. 1 "Nothing But Love" (1991-07-22)
  • No. 7 "Undivided Heart" (1991-10-14)
  • No. 1 "The Joy of the Lord" (1992-02-10)
  • No. 1 "I'm Still Here" (with Bruce Carroll) (1992-05-25)
  • No. 1 "Destiny" (1993-01-18)
  • No. 5 "A Heart That Knows You" (1993-04-12)
  • No. 1 "God is in Control" (1994-02-21)
  • No. 1 "Neither Will I" (1994-06-13)
  • No. 2 "Watch and Pray" (1994-09-19)
  • No. 4 "Seventy Years Ago" (1995-01-23)
  • No. 1 "The Time is Now" (1995-04-24)
  • No. 4 "Faithful Friend" (with Steven Curtis Chapman) (1996-05-13)
  • No. 1 "(I Am) Not Afraid Anymore" (1996-08-26)
  • No. 1 "Run to You" (1999-10-25)

Gospel Music Association Awards[edit]

  • Praise and Worship Album of the Year, Sanctuary, 1992
  • Female Vocalist of the Year, 1993
  • Female Vocalist of the Year, 1994
  • Female Vocalist of the Year, 1995
  • Song of the Year, "God is in Control", 1995
  • Special Event Album of the Year, My Utmost For His Highest, 1996 (shared) (an album by various artists)
  • Special Event Album of the Year, Tribute - The Songs of Andrea Crouch, 1997 (shared) (an album by various artists)
  • Special Event Album of the Year, God With Us - A Celebration of Christmas Carols, 1998 (shared) (an album by various artists)
  • Long Form Music Video of the Year, My Utmost for His Highest, 1999 (shared) (a video by various artists)
  • Children's Music Album of the Year, Bedtime Prayers, Lullabies and Peaceful Worship, 2002



  • Making A Christmas Memory (1990) (With Jeanie Price)
  • In This Sanctuary: An Invitation To Worship The Savior (1992) (co-authored with Dr. Robert Webber)
  • Celebrate The Gift of Jesus Every Day (1993, 1994)
  • Perennial: Mediations For The Seasons of Life (1998)
  • Bedtime Prayers and Lullabies (2001)


  1. ^ Praise for the Lord, ed. John P. Wiegand (Nashville: Praise Press, 1997), Nos. 738, 928 936, 950, 982, 984, ISBN 0-89098-119-1; Songs of Faith and Praise, ed. Alton H. Howard (West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing, 1994), Nos. 60, 176, 365, 559, 577, 578, 718, ISBN 1-878990-34-9.
  2. ^ Morgenthaler, Sally. Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers Into the Presence of God. Toronto: Zondervan Canada. 1999
  3. ^ "Page 2 of Twila Paris: The CCM star with a hit crossover album - Twila Paris". 1994-06-01. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 

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